The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Continued Rise of the Populist Right

For the majority of people in most developed nations, the last 20 to 40 years have been periods of economic stagnation or decline. Their incomes have either stayed steady or dropped, while both productivity and the income of the wealthy have soared.

Since 2008, this trend has accelerated, going from “stagnation” to “decline” in many countries, including the US, Britain, and the south of Europe.

Now we have clueless wonders (in the UK, chinless wonders) trying to figure out why the populist right is rising.

They are gaining traction because most people’s lives are getting worse and the populist right offers an explanation and a cure. The explanation is mostly wrong, the cure mostly won’t work, but they have an explanation (immigrants!) and a cure (no more immigrants!).

Trump has focused on two things: immigrants and trade. Immigrants and trade.

This is not an insane explanation: Trade deals have, indeed, hurt ordinary people, and immigrants compete with the lower and working class for wages. There is an argument that immigrants bring enough demand to outweigh the supply (a.k.a., that enough jobs are created to make up for their presence by their presence), but it is not insane to say “more workers = lower wages,” when your lived experience is that you’re competing with immigrants for jobs and they are willing to take worse wages than you are.

If you are a neo-liberal you cannot be effectively against fascism or right-wing populism because the policies you support create the necessary conditions for both. You are the enablers and you have no story about how life can get better for the people who are looking for one. You’ve been in power for about 40 years now, your methods have been tried, and all they have done is make ordinary people poorer and create lots and lots of billionaires.

You may say you oppose fascism, but you are creating the conditions under which it flourishes. This is true of Cameron, Blair, Thatcher, both Clintons, both Bush’s, Reagan, and every politician who supports or supported neo-liberal policies.

You are enablers of fascism. The post-war economy was created to make sure that something like fascism could not happen again, and you dismantled it.

You worthless, greedy, foolish, stupid wastes of human skin.

To fight fascism, you must offer an explanation for why the economy keeps getting worse for ordinary people and offer a solution for it, both of which must be believable and actionable.

“Do more of the same but change our rhetoric” is not a solution. This is not a PR problem, this is a reality problem: Our elites really did fuck up the economy in most countries for most people. This is a REAL problem and people are looking for a solution.

If you are the sort of clueless putz who says “globalization and lower wages are inevitable, there is nothing we can do” you are a Nazi enabler, as well as a worthless waste of skin and a moron. (Especially as I’ve noticed that most people who say this happen to be doing just fine, thank you.)

Trump did well because he offered a problem statement and a solution (albeit somewhat incoherently). Sanders did better than any socialist has done in decades for the same reason. Corbyn is Labour leader because he offered a solution as well.

All of these people are offering solutions which are not tweaks to the status quo: They are massive changes. Slapping a 35 percent tariff on all overseas-made goods (Trump) is not a small thing, it is a radical overthrow of the current world order.

Re-nationalizing swathes of industry in the UK, which Corbyn wants to do, is also a radical change in how the country is run.

Neoliberalism is dying because it cannot offer a solution to problems it created. The problem is that it is dying in a way which may lead to a revival of fascism, an age of revolution, and an age of war.

Neoliberals are monsters. It is a philosophy born in the sentiment, “Fuck you Jack, I’ve got mine.” People who supported neoliberals (like Reagan Dems) were either clueless or monsters (or both). The results reaped by neoliberalism are exactly what was predicted by its critics.

There will be war. There will be revolution. There will fountains of blood in the streets. There will be refugee crises that make the current one look like a piss in the wind compared to a hurricane. All of this is because neoliberals ruled for 40 years and their policies are reaping exactly the results predicted by those who opposed them.

So enjoy your fascists. They won’t be going away any time soon, and if they are defeated again, it will be in rivers of blood, like last time.

That’s what you were voting for when you voted for neoliberals over and over again.

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  1. V. Arnold

    You are enablers for fascism. The post-war economy was created to make sure that something like fascism could not happen again, and you dismantled it.
    You worthless, greedy, foolish, stupid wastes of human skin. Ian

    Thank you, thank you, thank you; I don’t recall ever hearing it better said.

  2. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I suppose it’s always possible that this prophecy of doom will finally prove to be the correct one, but the elites of the countries which went fascist in the 1920s and 1930s did not enjoy the modern surveillance technologies which today’s elites enjoy.

    “I can always hire half of the working class to kill the other half”? That won’t be necessary, when the would-be working class rebels–Fascist, Marxist, Whateverist–can be detected and suppressed long before they can rally a hundredth, never mind half, of their peers to the banners of rebellion.

    No, if our civilization ends, it will be from the environmental damage caused by the myopic pursuit of power and profit by its elites. I say “if”, because the science and tech gangs have proven to be deuced clever over the decades, though it would be nice if the aforementioned myopic elites did not make quite so much cleverness necessary.

  3. different clue

    I don’t know about the Reagan Democrats in general. I remember about Reagan Democrats in the State of Michigan in particular. McComb County was held up for display as the emblematic county/district and storm center for the Reagan Democrats. They were mostly auto workers ( and their voting age family members). Hard-fought/ hard-won union battles had led to union contracts which let them earn enough pay and benefits to where they could afford modest summer cottages and yardlets “up North” (in Northern Lower Michigan mostly). I read somewhere that candidate Reagan and the Republicans invited them to confuse themselves with great landed estate-owners. After certain unpleasant events and memories during the Carter Administration , they joined others in voting for Reagan to make Morning in America great again.
    They have therefor been dismissed by some as racist sexist pigs who voted for all the bad outcomes they got and therefor deserved those bad outcomes.

    The flaw in this theory is that these same Reagan Democrats kept voting for Democratic Representatives and Senators here in Michigan. McComb County was the core of David Bonior’s district, and his Reagan Democrat constituents kept returning him to Congress over and over again. ( Those of his constituents who were of Middle Eastern origin also voted for him based on his interest in fairness for Palestine as well as for Israel. But I think most of his voters were Euro-ancestry Anglophone American auto workers and families). And Bonior was considered reasonably hard left from an American point of reference. He kept their loyalty by opposing Forced Free Trade Agreements, and by MEANING it. Just like other Democratic Reps and Sens who kept getting re-elected by Reagan Democrats. This indicates that the Reagan Democrats kept voting aGAINST their own demise over and over and over again.

    It was President Clinton who betrayed them all, and betrayed this country, by his dirty filthy double-dealing support of Forced Free Trade. And it was President Clinton who GOT the “Republican” Forced Free Trade Agreements passed. Their passage accelerated the economic decay which Reagan was only able to begin. Their passage educated the Reagan Democrats to the fact that the Democratic Party was now led by the Social Class Enemies of the American Majority. And THAT is when the Reagan Democrats become overall Republicans. And even then, and even unto now, those few New Deal-type Legacy Democrats who still opposed/ oppose Free Trade Treason were and are still re-elected to their seats. Democrat Marcy Kaptur of the Greater Toledo area ( I believe) is an example of the disappearing type. (She is a great congresswoman, a Great Lakestani, and a great American. Rep. John Dingell . . . our beloved Dingellsaurus paleocraticus . . . was another right up until his retirement. His wife and canny political partner Mrs. Dingell continues the legacy).

    The Clintons remain social class enemies of the American majority unto this very day. Various supporters of Senator Clinton have suggested that it is unfair to judge the Senator Clinton of today by the record of President Clinton of yesterday. I might have accepted that logic had Mister Bill made it clear that he would be First Golfer if Senator Clinton got elected.
    But when Senator Clinton announced that she would put Mister Bill in charge of engineering our “national economic revival” , she MADE Mister Bill and his record into a real issue.

    I fully expect Mr. Sanders to give support to Senator Clinton. That’s the way the game of politics is played, and Mr. Sanders is a politician. But I can hope that what Mr. Sanders lends turns out to be a form of non-supportive support . . . at least for the Clintonian agenda of ongoing economic treason against America. And I hope the Clintonites understand that some of Sanders’s supporters supported Sanders for agenda reasons, not cult of personality reasons.
    These supporters are unlikely to support Clinton unless she gives some credible signs of turning against her husband’s legacy of economic treason and pro UpperClass/OverClass privilege. As I said before, she has to make the sale and close the deal. She has 6 months to do that. Senator Sanders can’t do that for her, and if he tries he will lose all the credibility he has built up over the last 30 years. I hope he understands that.

    Meanwhile, the Reagan Democrats will most likely vote for Trump. Some of them might have voted for Sanders but we will never know. I strongly suspect that they will not give a rat’s ass about validating the hopes and dreams of professional-class feminists-of-privilege, and could care less about an Upper Class Feminist-of-Privilege breaking through the Tiffany Glass Ceiling to become America’s “First Woman President”. The Reagan Democrats have their own cinder block ceilings or leaking roofs or looming homelessness to worry about.

  4. Some Guy

    For once, I will agree with Ivory Bill somewhat (although I think he overstates the case for elite omnipotence), but I think the true point is broader. Communications technology has changed so much in the last few decades that it is hard to assume the future will resemble the past too strongly.

  5. Tom W Harris

    The nation state is once again going to have to be the basis of repair/rebirth. Here’s hoping it’s Churchillian instead of Hitlerian nationalism.

    The overlords will try to thwart this. They should keep in mind John F. Kennedy’s famous quote: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

    And one could add: Those who make civic nationalism impossible will make tribal nationalism inevitable.

  6. V. Arnold

    A case could be made that the U.S. no longer exists; at least in the sense most think of it.
    The U.S. is not a democracy, freedom of religion is gone, there is literally almost no free press, forced education is indoctrination, habeas corpus is null, etc., etc., etc..
    Gutted, utterly gutted, oh, and elections? Laughable joke at best. It wasn’t too bad until Reagan.
    Some have predicted if Clinton is elected, it will be the last election in the U.S.. Ironic actually; wasn’t the election prior to 2000 really the last real election?
    We’ll see…

  7. DZ

    different clue- well said and true here in ct also- Split tickets -often returning Democrats to state and national legislatures- It was Clinton that powered the decline.

    The left did nothing- the people who fought the “welfare reform” were tiny in numbers- the non profits that supposedly served poor people barely spoke a word in protest.

    Millions came out to protest the Bush Wars and the left folded when mobilization failed to stop the war. For every issue, The left joined the neo-liberals or quit the fight altogether. The working class needed analysis, needed strategy, tactics, plans and got nothing but betrayal.

  8. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    It didn’t start with Reagan. It started with Nixon.

    The non-elite white majority of the USA could have had a Scandinavian-style, or at least Canadian-style welfare state.

    But that would have meant letting those “lazy” and “unworthy” N-people and dirty hippies have it, too.

    So a majority of that non-elite white majority chose the GOP, once the GOP started dog-whistling.

    A preponderance of the non-elite whites betrayed the Democratic Party first, giving it no choice but to rely on money and support from socially liberal elites and semi-elites.

    Most of my fellow non-elite white USAmericans now have the economy and the government which they deserve.

    The problem with that is, those of us who deserve better also are stuck with the economy and the government which the stupid bigots deserve. At least I’m not missing anything I really need.

  9. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    But yes, if modern surveillance technology can’t stop socialism (democratic and/or authoritarian) and/or fascism from returning, then yes, the Mammon-worshippers will have done it to themselves.

  10. Bernard

    Dismantling FDR’s and LBJ’s societal programs were the stated purpose of the Republican Party/and the (un)spoken reason behind Reagan’s Great Lies. and the Whites in America continually voted Republican since LBJ to undo the American Society. White Americans, who still are stupid, short sighted and scared shitless of the “Other.” This is what Republicanism has always stood for. The Democratic Party eagerly hopped in bed with the Republicans to share in the spoils of the looting of the American Workers/Society.

    Reaping what they have sown isn’t pretty, but it is instructive to show how petty people sold the rest of us out. the Good always suffer for the Evil.

  11. Hugh

    It is important to define fascism. The term comes from the Latin word “fasces” a bundle of bound rods. The meaning is that there is strength in unity. While each rod is easily breakable by itself, the bound bundle is essentially unbreakable. In Roman times, fasces were carried by lictors before Roman magistrates and signified the power and authority (imperium) of the magistrate imparted to him by the inseparable union of the Senate and the Roman people (SPQR and all that). In 19th century Italy, the descendant word “fascio” was used to refer to any political grouping. In 1919, Mussolini formed his political party Fascii Italiani di Combattimento (Fighting Italian Political Groups) which adopted the Roman iconography and gave us, for better or worse, the term fascism. Mussolini’s fascism was an aggressive, anti-democratic, authoritarian form of Statism marked by the tripartite alliance of the state with corporate interests and acquiescent labor unions. These unions were not there to defend workers’ rights but to enforce discipline among them. The hallmarks of fascism were the one-party state, mobilization of the population, discipline, corporatism, exaggerated nationalism, militarism, surveillance, intolerance of dissent, suppression of individual liberties (at least those of ordinary citizens), and the embrace of state and state-sponsored violence to achieve these goals.

    I once attended a talk where a psychiatrist was listing the characteristics associated with various personality disorders. What was comical was the growing discomfort of the audience, mostly made up of physicians, as they recognized so many of these characteristics in themselves and the people they were sitting with. Finally, one of them asked the speaker about it. She gave what I thought was a really great response. She said, “The trait is not the disease.” But you know sometimes it is, or rather the trait does indicate, if not the disease, a disease. We do not have Mussolini-style fascism. But as Mark Twain (reputedly) once said, “History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” We have Statism, even by those who advocate “small government”. We have weak and largely complicit labor unions. We have corporatism and militarism. We have violence abroad in the form of the War on Terror and at home in the form of an increasingly heavily armed and unaccountable police force. We have the erosion of civil liberties and the construction of a Surveillance/Police state. What we do not have is mass mobilization. If anything, we have the reverse. We the masses are kept passive. Our apathy is cultivated. Our divisions are nutured. In classic fascism, the guiding myth was the populo, the Volk, the People, not as individuals but as aggregate, mobilized to achieve a manifest destiny. What we have is kleptocracy. The point is to keep us anesthetized, distracted, and divided so that we do not notice the looting by the rich and elites going on all around us, or that even if we do, we can not unite to do anything about it. Our growing discontent is still being co-opted by demogogues like Trump and ineffective reformers like Sanders. Only when we start organizing and mobilizing outside the confines of the One Money Party of the Democrats and Republicans will we have a chance at real change. And if this does not happen in an organized and hopeful fashion, it will ultimately occur in a much more violent and uncontrolled one.

  12. The problem with neo-liberalism is That it strangles even the neoliberal impulses which would otherwise control its interests. Without those, neoliberalism keeps demanding more, and more, and more. Even if world was neoliberal – and it was for 30 years – the very ability would be crushed out. We have done this experiment, it is time to move on to something else. neoliberalism needs to be combined with other things, and not the the dominant form.

  13. S Brennan

    Had FDR’s programs not been put in place prior to WW II, this would have happened in the 30’s and the USA would have been part of NAZI Colonies/Allies now. By restoring the conditions of the 30’s America’s elite are taking a mulligan, this is not by ignorance or an accident.

  14. They will try a slower, gentler form.

  15. Ron Showalter

    “And if this does not happen in an organized and hopeful fashion, it will ultimately occur in a much more violent and uncontrolled one.”

    While I agree with Ian’s sentiment and Hugh’s continuance of his kleptocratic paradigm, I believe any terminology/language that is used to describe TPTB and the system that supports them that is not accurate only further provides them with cover and shields them from the day of reckoning that is so rightfully theirs as noted above.

    TPTB are murderers and thieves. That’s it. A bunch of fucking murderers and thieves and the system/people that support them are aiding and abetting in said murder and theft.

    NOTE: my definition of thievery includes rape, torture, enslavement, etc etc and all other related crimes whereby something is illegally taken from someone else.

    So what? They’ve been called worse, right?

    Yes, but that’s ALL we should be calling them. Murderers and thieves. Not fascists. Not kleptocrats. Not neoliberals. Not neocons. Not Democrats, Progressives or Republicans.

    Murderers and thieves.

    Why? One of the most effective planks of the Marxist thought as it was promulgated in the early 20th century and on was that once you understood that the alienation the workers were suffering from was being directly caused by and spread by the capitalists via the superstructure they owned/controlled there was NO LONGER ANY need to listen/pay attention to one more fucking word that came out of the TPTB’s mouths as it was all meant to further alienate you from yourself and your co-slaves. There was no longer any debate b/c it was NOT A DEBATE to begin with: it was a forceful attempt to take control of your mind/spirit.

    This was one of the main reasons IMO that yesteryear’s PTB were so very scared of Marxist movements; it struck to the heart of their power apparatus by correctly seeing that any peon “dialogue”/”comprise” with them was a sham, the first relatively non-violent means of them defending their spoils/positions.

    Today’s PTB have so taken over the levers of thought control in its many and varied forms that even intelligent people are unwittingly providing these murderers and thieves covers by actually participating in phony debate/elections etc and using the terminology that they TPTB themselves want us to use so that we don’t call them correctly what they are and in doing so awaken even the most brainwashed among us to the severity of the situation we find ourselves in: murderers and thieves.

    You don’t listen to what murderers and thieves tell you.

    You don’t participate in things that murderers and thieves tell you to.

    You don’t emulate murderers and thieves.

    You don’t envy murderers and thieves.

    You shun them, take away their freedom and make sure murderers and thieves don’t rise again to take control of the reins of power.

    Murderers and thieves are who we are dealing with and we shouldn’t ever forget that fact.

  16. V. Arnold

    Ron Showalter
    June 19, 2016

    So many words and instructions; it’s really very simple; withdraw all consent.
    What does that mean, encompass? Get off your lazy ass and figure it out!
    If someone has to hold your hand and walk you through the process; then you and the future are hopeless; hopeless!!!
    Grow up and fight…

  17. Mike

    @different clue, so, Clinton was the US equivalent of Blair?

  18. BlizzardOfOz

    The problem with that is, those of us who deserve better also are stuck with the economy and the government which the stupid bigots deserve. At least I’m not missing anything I really need.

    This might be the most boomer paragraph ever.

  19. BlizzardOfOz

    Hugh, good post. The term “fascism” doesn’t seem all that useful (except as a slur for certain people to use against their political opponents, where of course it’s extremely useful). Basically it’s just synonymous with Nazi Germany. The desire to define it as a generic type of government leads to the attempt to find commonalities with Mussolini’s Italy. But that ends up downplaying the most salient feature of Hitler’s government, which was a determination to re-establish the German empire by expansion of territory by conquest. Is there even a single other historical state that is considered fascist?

  20. different clue

    @Ivory Bill Woodpecker,

    The problem with your analysis is that it fails to account for the continuing pattern of Nixon Democrats at the Presidential Level continuing to vote for pro-Worker Democrats at the House level and the Senate level. The ReagaNixon Democrats did not quit voting for Democrats at the House and Senate level unTIL the Clinton Trade Treason agreements were passed with Clinton’s fanatical devotion and pressure. As I noted above, the same McComb County Democrats who voted for Reagan in 1980 also kept right on voting for their Democratic Rep. Bonior and for Democratic Senators like Riegle and Levin.

    So it isn’t Nixon who diddit. And it isn’t Reagan who diddit. It is Clinton who diddit.


    Clinton as our Blair? It hadn’t occurred to me but that seems a good comparison. Just as Reagan was our Thatcher. Hillary Clinton is downright Nixonian in her deceit and spiteful revenge-bent paranoid style. I would call her our Nixon-back-from-the-grave.

    Colonel Lang and Mr. Brenner and The Twisted Genius have all run posts just in the last few-couple days at Sic Semper Tyrannis about Hillary Clinton and the potentially deadly mortal threat she poses to the continued existence of this country if she is permitted to become President. I have not yet read their articles in slow word-by-word parsing for all levels of meaning. I would suggest that these articles are indeed worth reading. For people who feel they only have time to read one of them, I might suggest the Colonel Lang piece on “Russia planning to release ALL the Clinton emails”. I hope it is true and I hope that they do.
    Putin has apparently said he would prefer to see Trump become President because a President Trump would pose a smaller danger of World War Three with Russia. If indeed Putin has said that, then I would say that Putin has a reality-based view of the situation. I desperately hope that he does indeed have ALL the emails and that he does indeed give them ALL to Wikileaks. ( The Corporate Fascist Pig MSM would merely sit on them).

  21. different clue


    Some would say that the “Election of ’63” held in Dallas on that fateful November day was the last election we ever had for President in this country.

  22. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    @DC: You have your understanding of history, I have mine. The White Working Class you laud voted for the “Reagan Revolution” which slashed funding for college education, jerking the ladder up beyond my reach before I had the chance to climb it (I had the grades and test scores to go ANYWHERE, but not the money), because your precious WWC didn’t like those horrible “mud people” and dirty hippies. Your precious WWC can kiss my 53-year-old @$$ and go directly to Areinnye, do not pass “Go”, do not collect $200.

    @Blizz: I was born in 1963, which makes me a Boomer by some estimates, and Gen X by others. I have usually identified more strongly as Gen X. I am curious about why you consider my paragraph which you quoted to be “Boomerish”.

  23. different clue

    It has been said that one can judge a candidate by the quality of its supporters. Shall we judge the quality of Candidate Clinton by your last comment?

  24. Ron Showalter

    JFC, from the amount of bitching/moaning/whining/meowling butthurt about Hillary Freaking Clinton by the fake-left blogosphere you’d think that she just walked onto the political scene yesterday. Holy eff. Are you all millennials?

    I mean, did people just start paying attention to these war criminals yesterday or was there a Tweet somewhere that started it all? Get a grip, ladies.

    And you all think you’re savvy enough to NOT be affected by the MSM that you slurp up, huh?

    And now know-nothing Confederate/racist jackass career US military officer Pat Lang – along w/ Yves at NC – also sincerely believes in the Putin/Hillary email scandal? Holy shit-you-not embarrassing, batman.

    One minute the fake-lefties here were telling us that Putin was a bad bad man b/c he hated Pussy Riot, the gays, invaded Ukraine and single-handedly stole Crimea but now that someone has floated one of the most horseshitedly absurd stories – oh, Volodya prefers Trump, huh? And you all know this how? – you think that he might rescue you or something farcical something else.

    Seriously, we’re being led into the abyss by murderers and thieves yet this is what the fake-left intelligentsia in the US et al are giggling about.


  25. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I fail to care what you judge or don’t judge, DC, since I doubt there are enough of you cranks to make a difference in the election.

    As for the e-mails in which you and Colonel Mustard or whoever place so much hope, would Prez Obama have endorsed HRC if they contained anything which could do serious damage–or would he and the Democratic Establishment be quietly looking for a replacement for HRC? Are you turning into Lord Haw-Haw Goodman?

    If Putin actually wants to put this country’s nuclear launch codes in the hands of a thin-skinned narcissistic sociopath like The Donald, then I will be compelled to lower my estimate of Putin’s intellect. Dramatically.

  26. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    One of the major reasons Marxism failed is that its “successes” merely replaced the capitalist gangs of pirates in various countries with different gangs of pirates, with a different ideology to justify their piracies.

    Capitalism is a confidence scheme. Marxism was a competing confidence scheme.

  27. wendy davis

    A very worthy discussion; thanks, Ian. For your consideration, two essays on the subject. I’ll include them one at at time so as not to trip your current moderation settings.

    ‘Neoliberal Europe and the far right: two sides of the same coin’ at Roar Magazine

  28. wendy davis

    ‘Distorting Fascism to Sanitize Capitalism’ by Ismael Hossein-Zadeh

  29. Well — in the words of Bender Rodriguez, “Yep; we’re boned”.

  30. V. Arnold

    different clue
    June 19, 2016
    Some would say that the “Election of ’63” held in Dallas on that fateful November day was the last election we ever had for President in this country.

    I would be hard pressed to argue with that. We can thank the Dulles brothers for that…

  31. CMike

    …Clinton as our Blair? It hadn’t occurred to me but that seems a good comparison.



    Anne Mellbye
    Monday 10 February 2003 10.57 EST

    A brief history of the third way

    As Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson host a Downing Street seminar to revive the so-called third way, Anne Mellbye looks back at the development of New Labour’s ideology.

    What was the third way all about?

    The so-called third way is New Labour’s attempt to build itself an ideological foundation. In the face of accusations that the decision to re-christen the party and re-write clause IV was motivated purely by electoralism, Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson sought to prove their ideological convictions…

    Wasn’t Bill Clinton involved?

    Bill Clinton’s electoral success after renaming his party the New Democrats was an inspiration to Mr Blair and his fellow Labour modernisers. Both shared the belief that a new ideological compass was needed.

    In September 1998, Mr Clinton and Mr Blair held a conference in New York to officially launch their new ideology. Both said they rejected the neo-liberal belief that everything can be left to the market, but also saw the traditional left-of-centre faith in state intervention in the economy as outdated.

  32. Jaimie

    Ian? I just wanted to thank you for writing so clearly about things that it is hard for me to think clearly about.

    Last week I was talking with a man recently made homeless, mostly listening to his story, and he told me that three potential employers advertising for help told him that they don’t hire white people when he went in to apply for their jobs. Of course not, not when they can hire immigrant laborers who will submit to shit wages and shittier treatment for a chance at a better life for themselves and their families. He had a sunburn on his face from working on a crew digging ditches in record-breaking heat and told me that a local woman took a shine to him and said he could live with her, but only if he was a Trump supporter. He wasn’t and refused to lie about it, even for a chance at a home again. I was surprised, figuring why wouldn’t he support Trump given the abyss he’s currently inhabiting.

    I hear the stories of displaced men (and women) regularly because of where I live: there’s a men’s shelter just around the corner from me and much panhandling and much police presence as a result. I walk my dog into the searing Arizona sun and wait for someone who has been discarded by capitalism, as I have, to ask me for help. My heart breaks every time, especially since I can’t help them in the ways they need to be helped because I don’t have the fucking resources. If I give them cash, then I don’t have it to meet my needs and we’re both screwed (I don’t begrudge them buying themselves a bottle to get themselves through the hot days and cold nights being regarded and treated as human trash). And if I play social worker, which I’ve done, I meet the calloused indifference and burnout of real social workers, many of them working for “Jesus,” who cannot coordinate services with other agencies or my broke ass, who no longer has a car to drive the dispossessed person in my home to where there may be, if we’re lucky, some help. Every day I watch Navajo and Hopi men and women wandering, without anchor, sneered at by well-to-do white people from Phoenix up here to shop and get out of the heat (which today was 118 degrees, three degrees above the former record high for today in that valley of human hell) and sometimes I engage these sneering people, reminding them of the humanity of the people before them, descendants of peoples who barely survived genocide. I offer my kindness but it is never enough. Never. Sometimes I just come home and cry. Sometimes I come home and yell.

    That shelter I mentioned? It’s a “Christian” missionary shelter, and they charge men who are working and staying there 70% of their weekly wages. Seventy percent of their weekly wages to hear fire and brimstone preached at them and be robbed by other desperate joes. The staff preaches End Times horse shit. Have you ever heard of such a thing? And the community newspaper cheers this place. Businesses and charities donate money to it. The First Nations people steer clear of it like the plague because of their “mission” and I’m sure other valid reasons.

    My point? I dunno. I’m gonna go plop my ass on a cushion in a few and I’m just sharing, anecdotally, why I appreciate your writing so much and why it’s so hard for me to think clearly about these matters. Fuck neo-liberalism and fuck capitalism.

    I think I’m going to meet with the crew at the local Democratic Party headquarters this week. I got a call from someone who works there doing a hard sell on me volunteering my time to go canvassing and registering voters (on the hottest days of the year so far — ain’t that brilliant strategy? People are so receptive when their brains are boiling) on their behalf and I had to say no three times like I was speaking to a telemarketer (which I was) or a child before they pitched me the “Come hear about our opportunities to help rock the vote this year” spiel and by this point, since she was not listening to me even a little bit, I conceded that I’d come in to meet with them (and with some other passionate fools) but only if that meant we were going to be having a two-way conversation (I’d already told her what I thought of the Democratic Party for how it organized to lock Bernie out from the primary process … the time to get the vote out was months ago, etc. ). If I follow through on that appointment, which I’m not sure I will, I’m going to listen politely and wait for a chance to speak and then I’m going to give them your website and then I’m going to leave.

    I am grateful for your knowledge shared here. Bless you very much.

  33. Giacomo

    The EU case is even worse. The EU is not just an enabler for fascism, the EU is fascist.
    It’s fascist in the sense that it is anti-democratic by design, it is authoritarian and paternalistic.
    It’s fascist because it tries and avoid democratic pronunciation and when it cannot avoid one it tries to divert the outcome through lies and scaremongering, and when that is not enough and it gets a NO THANKS from the people, it simply ignores the outcome.

  34. V. Arnold

    @ Giacomo
    June 20, 2016

    Yeah, I think you got it.
    But in the end, it won’t matter one bit.
    We’re done, finished, but are slow to wake up to the reality…

  35. tony

    @wendy davis

    What is “extreme right”? Does it refer to the bank taxes and downward redistribution policies in Poland or the planned basic income experiment in Finland?

  36. Peter Van Erp

    Signs of life in Italy: M5S won mayoral elections in Rome and Torino. M5S is Eurosceptic and degrowth. If the political class can’t hear the people, they too will end up feet up hanging from the remains of a gas station.

  37. wendy davis

    @ Jaimie: bless your beautiful heart.

    ‘It is in the shelter of each other…that The People live’

    ~ Irish proverb

  38. someofparts

    “This might be the most boomer paragraph ever.”

    That might be the best example ever of someone foolishly helping our lizard overlords keep us divided.

  39. Richard Holsworth

    Oops, I see you left out Obama. Obamas response to the economic crisis has done more to advance the cause of fascism than any of the others.

  40. Richard Holsworth

    Hoping you’ll amend your essay to include Obama in that list of Neo liberal malefactors, here’s a snippet from an essay by a man who agrees with much of what you said above:

    “Even when he had a majority in Congress, President Obama did next to nothing to pursue the Progressive promises he had made to the American people. His political opponents labeled him a “radical leftist” and socialist, but in truth, Obama proved to be yet another Neo-Liberal, yet another Wall Street Democrat.”

  41. Richard Holsworth

    Wherein I attempt to define neoliberalism

    Neoliberalism’s goal is the formation of a supranational corporate totalitarian system, with an espoused “intense faith in the spontaneous responses of the market”1 to better the lot of the common man. Machiavellian in their conspicuous doling out of crumbs to wage slaves who are expressly excluded from any linkage of their needs/labors to the fruit of their labors. Its evangelists extol the virtues of entrepreneurship as the only vehicle for individuals to become participants in the upside of Neoliberal capitalism. The governments of nations will be maintained in the event of economic downturns to extract assets from workers as we saw in 2008-9 and United States.

    1 Between Neoliberalism and Growth with Social Equity. Three Decades of Economic Policy in Chile Ricardo Ffrench-Davis

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